“Ooooooooo-pus” is the first survey exhibition in Germany of Katalin Ladik’s foundational work in poetry, performance, and sound. The work of the trailblazing artist (b. 1942, Novi Sad) has its spiritual and conceptual roots in the multi-ethnic and feminist avant-gardes of former Yugoslavia. Ladik, who was also successful as a film and stage actress, often embodying the “feminine”, draws on folkloric, mythological, and religious themes to challenge gender roles and female archetypes, using her body and voice as both instrument and medium.
For Ladik, the body engenders poetry. It is a site of self-representation she has consistently explored in her performances from the 1960s onward. Her visual poems — collages that include sewing patterns, sheet music, and found objects such as circuit boards from radios and kitchen appliances — function as musical scores. They explore connections between the voice and image while expanding language through phonetic experiments.
“Ooooooooo-pus” brings together Ladik’s multifaceted oeuvre in an exhibition that should be heard as much as seen. Sound is central to Haus der Kunst’s 2023 programme. This exhibition, as well as “Meredith Monk: Calling”, presents a new exhibition model for installing ground-breaking practices based on the audible.
Curated by Hendrik Folkerts and Sarah Johanna Theurer with Manuela Hillmann